Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mushing Dogs

Chad (my boss) has 28 sled dogs. He moved here from Minnesota 8 years ago and never looked back. The dogs need daily exercise and training, so he lets us handle and train them. Every individual consumes about 10,000 calories/day. Crazy right?  
Usual chaos in the dog lot
Dog mushing is exhilarating and difficult. The dogs don't do all the work. As long as you're on the runners you have to balance, stay in control, and if the snow is deep or the hill steep, then you have to run behind and push the sled.

The lead dog is Toby.

I have to firmly press the brake or else the dogs
will lurch forward and take off.

  Winchester is especially powerful.When the trail is packed down, they take off, and you must grip the handles, because if you fall off the runners, the dogs won't stop until they've dragged you back to camp.

Dog mushers aren't abusing the dogs or forcing them to run. The team has snapped ropes and harnesses, eager to get running.

Curiosity almost got the pup's head stuck in the woodwork
Lightning: small and quick 

Chad with the pups. He lives for his dogs.

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